I participated yesterday in a thread in Digitalpoint, where somebody complained that for a certain keyword the Google adwords keyword checker reported 6 million words, but he just received 58,000 visits for this keyword though bouncing in positions #2 to#5.

Apart from the fact that if somebody finds you through a search does not mean that somebody will click on your link (e.g., because the displayed text shows something different from what he is looking for), the number of clicks drops dramatically with each position. But what this person was forgetting was a high ranking on Google.com does not automatically guarantee you a good ranking in the “other” Googles I mentioned in my previous post (How to Access the “Other” Google).

Google has a local bias, whether you like it or not, because Google considers -right or wrong- that a user will be more interested in local content. Yet this person replied:

Well, if you rank in Canada and US up top, then usually you stand close in the local Google searches as well.

Now, that is NOT correct! It is a mistake that too many US-centered marketers commit. I have a couple of sites that rank #1 in Google.com and fail to appear in Google.ca and other locales for the same keyword on the first page. I need explicit targeting for that. Google performs geo-targeting based on the user locale and location, and the results vary from country to country, EVEN in the same Google! I travel a lot & have experimented this. The results you get (in English) when accessing Google France when in France, Germany or in Spain are not necessarily the same. BTW, you do not have to believe me, try it out yourself!

Remember my last post? In my last post  (How to to access the “other” Google) I highlighted how you could search in the “other” Google search engines. Forget for a moment the language factor, that I will discuss in a later post. Let’s stick to English and carry out an experiment with the results of three Google search engines:

For example, in Google.com for the word “cars” I get the following results:
1. New & Used Cars for Sale, Auto Dealers, Car Reviews and Car … in www.cars.com/
2. Cars (2006)…. in www.imdb.com/title/tt0317219
3. Disney/Pixar Cars – The Official Site… in disney.go.com/cars/
4. CARS.gov – Car Allowance Rebate System – Home – Formerly Referred … in www.cars.gov
5. Used Cars – New Cars – Search New & Used Cars For Sale – carsales … in www.carsales.com.au

Search for cars in Google.com

Searching for cars in Google.com

In Google.de (Germany) the same keyword provides the following results:

1. Cars – Offizielle Film Website Ein Disney / Pixar Film… in www.disney.de/DisneyKinofilme/cars
2. Cars (Film) – Wikipedia… in de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cars_(Film)
3. Disney/Pixar Cars – The Official Site… in disney.go.com/cars/
4. Cars (2006).. in www.imdb.com/title/tt0317219/
5. Cars (Einzel-DVD): Amazon.de: Jorgen Klubien, Joe Ranft, Randy … in www.amazon.de

Search for cars in Google.de

Searching for cars in Google.de

In Google.ca (Canada)  -with English locale- the same keyword provides the following results:
1. Cars (2006)… in www.imdb.com/title/tt0317219/
2. Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs) – Policy and Regulatory … in www.tc.gc.ca/eng/civilaviation/regserv/cars/menu.htm
3. Cars (film) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia… in en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cars_(film)
4. Automobile – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia… in en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automobile
5. Used Cars @ CarCasher.Com… in www.carcasher.com/

Searching for cars in Google Canada

Searching for cars in Google Canada

Note that for google.com I get the “standard” feed, but in Google Germany and Canada I get a localized/geotargeted version. The results are NOT the same! car.com, which in Google-com ranks #1,, does not even appear on the first page on Google Germany and Google Canada! Neither do #4 (www.cars.gov) and #5 (www.carsales.com.au) appear on the first page in Germany or Canada!

Thus, the #1 ranking for car.com on Google.com is meaningless in Canada and Germany, as it does not even appear on the first page when searching in those countries.

However, it is interesting to see which results are repeated. Why is this? Any ideas?

Answer: Google provides localized content if you search through a local version of Google, or it detects your IP as being a specific country. However, not all results are localized! Thus, sites that have made some specific globalization effort, or have many incoming links from an international audience will appear in the local searches, albeit slightly penalized because Google gives a ranking boost to local sites. It does however not kick out all global sites, because that would penalize the user experience. So, if you think globally but want also to rank locally, make sure that you address this issue!

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